- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - With his administration focused on reducing homelessness in Anchorage, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has announced a special coordinator for homeless issues.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports (http://bit.ly/1JVqMSt ) that Berkowitz announced Wednesday that Nancy Burke will take the position, which was created in 2009 but has been vacant since 2012.

Berkowitz says Anchorage’s growing homeless population is putting a strain on fire and police departments, which respond to emergency situations related to the homeless. He says the city has the capacity to help more than 2,000 residents who are homeless.

Burke previously served on the mayor’s transition subcommittee on homelessness. She is leaving a position as a senior program officer specializing in statewide housing at the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.

Earlier this week, the Anchorage Assembly approved $200,000 for housing units for alcoholic, homeless or mentally ill residents.

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Information from: Alaska Dispatch News, http://www.adn.com

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